From the Archives: spooky goings on at former airbase

Mark Egerton writes about the former Alconbury airbase in his book Haunted Huntingdonshire.

Mark Egerton writes about the former Alconbury airbase in his book Haunted Huntingdonshire. - Credit: MARK EGERTON

The village of Alconbury is well known for its association with the military. The RAF station, then under the control of the USAF, closed in January, 2015 along with RAF Molesworth, but over the years there seems to have been some strange activity.

In Mark Egerton's book, The Haunted History of Huntingdonshire, he reports that a Wesley Uptergrove reportedly heard children's voices while he was on night watch duty one night.

He carried out some research and discovered that in January 1876, a stationary train was hit by another train, known then as The Scotsman. later The Flying Scotsman.

Fourteen people were killed in Abbots Ripton where the accident took place and six of the fatalities were children and the voices are thought to relate to this tragic incident.

In 1978, a flight engineer had some strange experiences with lights flicking off and on. Searchlights at the base would go out without any explanation or signs of a fault.

Ghostly figures in World War Two uniforms have also been reported, especially near a building that had been used as a mortuary.

Mark says one of the most intriguing mysteries relating to the airbase took place in 1974/75.
One evening a radio call came in reporting an intruder inside the perimeter fence.

It soon became clear it was no Russian spy. It moved with "unnatural speed" and was seen to vault a seven-foot security fence with just one giant leap.

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American sentries were forced to open fire but whatever it was disappeared in nearby woods. A serviceman drove to where the shots had been fired and saw a figure in the fog. He said he was confronted by a "shaggy haired creature which stood on two legs.

It was described as having "intelligent eyes, a flat nose and large ears". It was also said to have "large, but not fanged teeth and a rounded lower face".

The serviceman said later that 'the thing' screamed at him before racing off at high speed. The story was covered in that week's Hunts Post and an artist's impression was made based on the description given by the serviceman.

A special plaque is in place at the airbase to honour the 19 USAF airmen from 95th Bombardment Group who were killed on May 27, 1943 when a bomb on board the aircraft detonated mid-air.

Mark says many Alconbury residents talk about the 'anniversary ghosts' they hear every year around 8.30pm on May 27. The memorial was erected on May 27, 2013, 70 years after the disaster.